Exploring the social and cultural patterns of male grief and their associated health effects
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Exploring the social and cultural patterns of male grief and their associated health effects

James Tallant Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neuro-Oncology, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To improve your knowledge of the role and purpose of grief

  • To recognise social and cultural influences on grief and how it can affect health, particularly among men

  • To understand how you can provide effective support in your practice to those who are bereaved

Death, bereavement and grief are inevitably encountered when working in healthcare and nursing, particularly in oncology settings. However, the long-term effects of loss for patients’ family and friends are not typically seen or understood by healthcare professionals, particularly those working in secondary care. This can hinder their understanding of the grieving process and its clinical implications. This article explores theories about how and why grief may have developed and focuses on the role of society and culture in influencing what is stereotypically seen as a Western male grief response. This stereotype is discussed because it has been recognised that some grief responses may lead to physical and psychological health effects which disproportionately affect men, such as increased rates of morbidity and mortality. Therefore, healthcare professionals, including nurses, should view grief and its effects as a public health concern.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1727

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Tallant J (2020) Exploring the social and cultural patterns of male grief and their associated health effects. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1727

Published online: 19 October 2020

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